Strings wins top AMA honor again
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Strings wins top AMA honor again

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – The Americana Music Association honored Billy Strings as Artist of the Year for the second straight year at the 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards at the Ryman Auditorium tonight.

Tyler Childers won Album of the Year for "Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?," while Bonnie Raitt's was Song of the Year for "Just Like That."

The War and Treaty (the husband-and-wife duo of Michael and Tanya Trotter) won Duo/Group of the Year) for the second consecutive year.

S.G. Goodman was Emerging Act of the Year, and SistaStrings (sisters Chauntee and Monique Ross) were Instrumentalist of the Year.

The Avett Brothers and Nickel Creek were presented with Trailblazer Awards by two-time Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile and surprise presenter Kacey Musgraves, respectively.

Patty Griffin received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from first-time presenter Sarah Silverman and a First Amendment Center's John Seigenthaler and the Tennessee Three (Democratic lawmakers Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson) presented 2022 Album of the Year winner ("Outside Child") Allison Russell with the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award.

George Fontaine Sr. took home the Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement for Executive.

The evening also included tributes to two albums celebrating their 50th anniversary: Rufus Wainwright tribute to Tom Waits' "Closing Time," and Milk Carton Kids and Noah Kahan tribute to Paul Simon's "There Goes Rhymin' Simon."

Logan Ledger opened the evening with a posthumous tribute to Jimmy Buffett's "Come Monday," and a multi-artist grand finale tribute to Robbie Robertson with The Band's "Up On Cripple Creek" closed the show.

Bettye LaVette accepted the Legacy of Americana Award (in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music [NMAAM]), presented by Noelle Taylor and Steve Jordan.

Performers also included 49 Winchester, Adeem the Artist, Angel Olsen, The Avett Brothers, Bettye LaVette, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Margo Price, The Milk Carton Kids, Nickel Creek, Sunny War, The War and Treaty and William Prince, Ledger, Raitt, Russell, Goodman and Griffin.

"I marvel at the talented musicians of our community who consistently surpass expectations and come together to highlight the importance of authenticity, friendship, and unity," said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "It is a privilege for me to be a part of this exceptional evening where we celebrate the well-deserved accomplishments of this incredible genre."

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CD reviews

CD review - Renewal It's just like Billy Strings to have a song title that reads like a heavy metal track ("Hellbender") for a tune that sounds like traditional bluegrass music. When it comes to creating music, though, the phrase, 'It's all good,' actually applies to Strings – for once. "Renewal" is over an hour of music, and is (mostly) bluegrass – at heart – but not just bluegrass music. "Hide And Seek" is one of the most complicated recordings, ...
CD review - Home As befits the reigning IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, Billy Strings' second full release, "Home" displays his guitar-playing range. But, there is much more to the fellow that rages through live shows, and those qualities are displayed on "Home." Strings (born William Apostol) lives up to his nom de guerre. Electric, acoustic 6- or 12-string guitar provide the ingredients for his work, and his guitar work is mostly, although not always, delivered at a breakneck tempo, ...
CD review - Turmoil & Tinfoil Billy Strings. It takes a lot of nerve to adopt such a nom de plume (in this case nom de guerre might be more appropriate) in the bluegrass world, but Billy Strings is up to the challenge, and more. Strings (real name William Apostol) grew up in Michigan, surrounded by musicians. A fourth-generation picker, he lives up to his name. Preternaturally talented, Strings embraces bluegrass instrumentation, but brings a powerful energy to his music. He's one of those musicians who packs a fuse and ...

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